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ROI Showdown: Email Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

Does social media or email marketing yield better results? In this post, Campaign Monitor does…

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How to Build a Foolproof Email Marketing Strategy Template

What is a successful email marketing campaign made of? The answer: a whole lot of moving parts, processes, and workflows. To ensure success, you need to make sure each piece is managed well and that all of them fit together seamlessly. How do you do that? With an email marketing strategy template. How to create an email marketing strategy from the ground up: Choose the right tools Identify your audience Build your list Create segments Identify goals and success metrics The above steps will help you build a successful email marketing campaign. Plus, you can repeat these processes for continued success. A recipe for success: 6 steps to build an email marketing strategy template Each of these steps is essential for building an effective email marketing strategy. 1. Choose your weapons wisely. Any email marketing strategy requires the right tools to help you create, send, track, and measure your marketing emails and campaigns. First, you need an email service provider. This is the tool that will help you create, organize, and send your emails plus provide basic tracking. In addition to an ESP, you may want to go one step further and pick out some extra tools to make your life easier. For instance, an automation tool helps you send marketing emails at strategic times, including those triggered based on a user’s web activity. To find a good option, check out this post from Neil Patel on 23 marketing automation tools. Once you have your go-to tools chosen, record them in a document for your team, including logins. 2. Identify your target audience. Your target audience is the set of people who would make ideal customers. They’re the people who want your product, need your product, or have a problem you can solve. Your email marketing should set out to attract them, interest them, and, ultimately, convert them into leads or buyers. To find your target audience, think about a few major factors, according to Inc.: Who are your current customers? Who are your competition’s customers? Who will benefit from your product(s)/service(s)? Once you hone in on all of these different groups, figure out where they overlap. Determine common demographic information like: Age Gender Location Occupation Income Education Marital status You should also think about your target audience’s habits, personal traits, and attitudes. For example, what are their hobbies? What do they value in life? What are their shopping behaviors? Once you know who you’re targeting with your email marketing, it’s much easier to tailor your messages and content to appeal to them. After you figure out your target audience’s demographics, traits, and habits, record them for safekeeping in your email marketing strategy template. 3. Build your list of subscribers. To build your email list of subscribers, you need to gather their email addresses. How do you do that? You need to attract them, build trust with them, and win them over so they want to hear more from you. A few tactics for list-building include: Create relevant content with an ask attached – With content, you build trust by providing value to your audience. Educate, entertain, or inspire them. Then, somewhere in your content, include a call-to-action that asks them to sign up for your email list. Make a one-time offer – A free offer in exchange for an email address is a great way to build your list. Try offering a freebie like a tip sheet, template, or ebook and ask for their email before they can download it. Keep an opt-in form on your website – This is a tactic plenty of brands use. Often, the opt-in form is located in the sidebar or footer and is a static element. This gives your audience the chance to sign up at a moment’s notice while browsing your website. For instance, Etsy keeps an opt-in form in their footer. It appears at the bottom of every page: 4. Segment your list. So far, you have one group of email subscribers who probably fall into your main target audience. Sending relevant emails to all these different people can get a little tough, especially as your list grows. What’s the answer? Email list segmentation. This process involves splitting your list into smaller groups based on similarities. For example, if your target audience consists of men and women, ages 25-34, you could segment this larger group into two smaller groups: those in their twenties and those in their thirties. Here’s a good example of a targeted newsletter from Reddit. It will appeal to people who love Reddit (“redditors”) and follow Reddit updates religiously: Ideally, each of your list segments should have a different buyer persona attached. This is a profile of the ideal customer that represents the major traits of the entire group. Coming up with email campaigns for each of your segments is a proven way to get better results. According to research by Aberdeen, email messages that are personalized this way get a 14% improvement in click-through rates and a 10% jump in conversions. 5. Create emails that mesh with your brand and audience. You have all the background information necessary—now it’s time to create some emails. First up, what kind of emails will you send? A weekly newsletter? Updates on your newest blog post? Emails triggered based on user interactions with your website? For instance, Legacy Box created a drip campaign that sent out a series of emails about a sale on their site. To help you figure out which types of emails to send, think about a few factors: Are there important days during the year where a drip campaign would help spread the word (think sales, events, conferences, holiday deals, etc.)? Do you publish content regularly, and would a newsletter help more subscribers see it? Do you have content ideas that would work well in email messages? Include all of your email ideas in your email marketing strategy template. 6. Figure out your goals and how you will measure your campaign’s success. You have your tools. You figured out your target audience and personas. You built up your email list. Now, it’s time to determine your goals for your email campaigns. Think about what you want to achieve with your email marketing. A few common goals include: Building a larger email list Getting more opens for your emails Increasing your click-through rates Converting more loyal subscribers into buyers You can have one or two overarching goals for each individual email campaign, or you can choose one or two for all of your email marketing endeavors. Remember: it’s totally dependent on your brand and business goals. Wrap up Email marketing is a process with lots of moving parts and pieces. Without a solid strategy in place, you’ll have a much harder time keeping track of it all, planning individual campaigns, and measuring your progress and success. Create an email marketing strategy template you can use over and over again to help make everything simpler. You’ll streamline your efforts as well as create more effective, targeted campaigns that net real results.

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Classy Webinar Recap: 4 Key Takeaways

Takeaways from our webinar on how to attract, convert, and nurture donors with email.

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8 Types of Email Content to Send Your Audience

No more stale emails. Here are 8 types of email content to refresh your strategy….

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4 Steps For Nonprofits to Attract Donors With Email

Email strategy tends to be overlooked by busy fundraisers. Here’s what you’re missing

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10 Reminder Email Subject Lines to Use in Your Next Send

Try these email reminder subject lines during your next event marketing campaign to drive engagement…

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5 Amazing Referral Emails That Actually Get People to Share

A successful referral email builds advocacy and generates new customers. Let’s take a look at…

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The New Rules of Email Marketing for Nonprofits

Discover how your nonprofit can drive engagement and donations using email marketing.

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How 3 Major Brands Use Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor customers are taking major strides in their marketing. And a lot of it’s due to the use of email. From welcome campaigns to automated journeys and robust content newsletters, brands large and small are growing their lists, engaging their audiences, and driving more revenue with email. This post takes a look at a few of these customers, examining what they’re doing with email to make such a big splash. Feel free to jump onto their websites and subscribe to their list so you can see the magic happen for yourself. But until then, enjoy the synopsis. Resy uses email to drive reservation authority If you’ve eaten out somewhere other than a fast food restaurant in the last year, you’ve probably seen a Resy logo somewhere in your travels. Resy is an extremely fast-growing tech company that works with restaurants to provide online reservations for your favorite spots. But that’s not all they do. First, let’s take a look at what happens when you use Resy to book a reservation. Above is a transactional email from Resy that confirms a created reservation. Transactional emails are perfect for this scenario: they get triggered by an extremely specific action (e.g. a reservation), and send automatically with details generated from that action. This email works perfectly to not only confirm that a reservation was received, but to also provide next steps, connecting concepts like important details and information to the character of a reservation company. Now that you’ve had the chance to opt in to their marketing emails, you may receive an email like this: This email serves as an incredible newsletter. Yes—a newsletter. Many of you may be firmly pegging this email as a sales-focused message, but this has all the signs of being a very versatile newsletter. The first reason this email acts more like a newsletter is due to its detail-centric layout. Focus is placed on the description of the restaurant, giving you ample information to decide whether or not to give it a shot. Second, there are restaurants on this list that aren’t reservable via Resy. The reason behind this supposed waste-of-space? This tactic impresses thought leadership into the reader’s mind. Now that the reader knows Resy isn’t solely honed in on booking reservations, they may receive Resy’s recommendations with more authority and lack of bias. This will in turn remind the reader to use Resy in the future to find new restaurants, as Resy has identified themselves as the authority on this subject. Rolling Stone Australia creates readership and revenue with email Touting a major readership, Rolling Stone continues to drive traffic to their articles and posts using email. And there are a few tactics they employ to make sure their content is solid, and their revenue opportunities are maximized. Sending a weekly newsletter, Rolling Stone uses strong imagery, a simple layout, and attractive headlines to draw people deeper into each article. This layout is simple enough to make it easily digestible, while still holding lots of information. The accessibility of the email’s template also makes it easy to insert sponsorships and ads. Fitting with the bulk of their content, Rolling Stone inserts ads for musical events, new releases, and other pop-culture materials that still provide an engaging experience for their readers. Because these ads are on-topic, the content still holds its ideal of curation and creates a seamless experience between partner and original content. SXSW uses segmentation to inspire event registrations Each year, thousands of musicians, filmmakers, and creatives of all backgrounds descend on Austin, Texas, to celebrate and share creativity. Naturally, SXSW is expected to send incredibly engaging emails to captivate such an artistic community. And they nail lit. Here’s a registration invitation they sent out to their entire list. With tracks for both music and film, there are plenty of opportunities for segmentationhere. Speaking of segmentation, SXSW sends personalized content to their registrants of the film festival in this email. By sending personalized content, they: show their knowledge of their audience help their customers have a better experience drive more sales for add-on packages From their 2015 festival, SXSW sent this email to give very clear opportunities for ticket purchasing. It’s focused on content, linking to new films and musical acts that will be showcased at the festival. But by organizing the content very clearly with different photos and color blocks, they make their calls to action very clear, so you know exactly where to go to take the next step. Wrap up These companies are driving tons of engagement and new levels of revenue with the power of email. If you’ve looked through these examples, you’ll see that none of these emails are outrageously complicated. By keeping email design straightforward and uncluttered, it’s easier to guide your subscriber toward the action you want them to take. Take some of these design and messaging ideas for yourself and grow your brand today!  

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4 Ideas for Adding Video to Your Email Campaigns

Using video in your email marketing is a powerful way to boost engagement. Here are…

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How to Send an Effective Marketing Follow-Up Email

Emails can provide your company with some of its highest marketing ROIs.Still, if your business is like most, you won’t receive the response you want after just one message. Instead, you’ll probably need to send at least one more before you get a positive result. That’s why you need to understand how to write an effective marketing follow-up email. Otherwise, the high-ROI you are expecting may never show up. Fortunately, there are 5 simple tips you can follow to quickly master this essential form of content. Any one of these will give you better results, but use them all from now on, and you’ll notice your email marketing campaigns really taking off. 1. Never send a marketing follow-up email too quickly. Kara Corridan has probably received more marketing emails than most. She was the health director of Parents magazine and is currently the executive editor of Scholastic. Here’s what she had to say about marketing emails that come too quickly: “Certain people that send me something on a Friday and then follow up Monday—it’s ludicrous. Even if we were interested, we couldn’t turn things around that frequently. You can try again in a month. Give us a chance to process.” That’s not to say you need to wait an entire month to send your follow-up. Every industry has its own standard. However, this is also why it’s important to figure out what makes the most sense in yours. Before deciding on the frequency of your follow up emails, first think about how you would feel receiving a follow up after you read the first marketing email from someone. How would you feel if the follow-up email hit your inbox a day or two later? Would you appreciate that or would you feel spammed? There’s a natural tendency to want to get in front of prospect often so many marketers will send emails too frequent in a sequence. Instead, make your send frequency at least 4–5 days apart. Give the recipient time to process the first email and decide whether it’s worth taking action before they receive another email. This takes time, but rest assured, there is no industry where following up every other day will get you the desired response. 2. Start with a reminder about your last email. Don’t start from scratch with a marketing follow-up email. Your prospects probably receive dozens of similar emails every week – if not more. After all, in 2017, 269 billion emails were sent every single day. So, there’s a good chance your recipient may not immediately recognize what yours is about. If that happens, don’t expect them to read it. Therefore, reference the last email you sent in the first line after your greeting. Don’t summarize it, though. On average, our attention spans are only about eight seconds, so never waste time with the openings of your email. Just reference the last one. If the reader needs a reminder, they can jump back into their inbox and find the last message. All you need is a sentence or two to reference the last one and then begin explaining why this next email is so important. 3. Get to the point. You’re not just checking in. Whatever you do, don’t begin your marketing follow-up email by “just checking in.” The benefit of those three words is that it makes it clear you’re not trying to pressure them into anything. The drawback is that you’re delaying why the email matters: its main objective. There are only four real reasons to write a marketing follow-up email: You need information You’d like to request a call, meeting, or some other kind of action You just want to catch-up You wanted to say thank you for one of the above or another opportunity Whichever it is, get to it right after you reference the last email. Don’t get lost in small talk. Remember, your recipient probably has a short attention span, and they may also be short on time—so start explaining why you deserve some of it. 4. Use action verbs. In a moment, we’ll cover how to end your emails, but before that tip will be helpful, you have to understand what must be included in the actual content. While you still want to keep your marketing follow-up email short, it absolutely must add value. You can’t simply send an email where all you do is ask for something. Instead, be sure you’re benefiting the recipient somehow, too. This is especially important in B2B, where data shows that 74% of buyers opt to work with salespeople who first added value. That is a massive difference. If your company utilizes account-based marketing, you’ll need to take the time to figure out what kind of value you can hope to provide the individual prospect. On the other hand, if your marketing follow-up email is going out to your entire list, be sure to segment it. Then, based on buyer personas, come up with a valuable piece of advice or other content that will show recipients that you’re focused on them — not just your company’s needs. Content upgrades can be great for this purpose. You can offer your recipients: eBooks Reports Case Studies Invites to a Webinar e-Courses Any of these options are above-and-beyond the normal follow-up email. However, because they come in the form of a link or attachment, they won’t add so much bulk to your copy that recipients immediately decide to move on. 5. End your marketing follow-up email with a specific call-to-action. Ideally, this marketing follow-up email will be the last one you need to send. To increase your chances of getting the response you want, be sure to include a specific call-to-action at the end. “Hope to hear from you” and “Let me know what you think” aren’t very good CTAs, despite how common they’ve become. Instead, consider one of the 75 CTAs we recommend. Here are some great examples: “Start your free trial” “Let us know how we did” “Reserve your seat” All of these give your recipient something specific to do. If you use action words throughout your copy, you’ll also set up your CTA with a better chance of success. Give your reader a CTA to be excited about If there’s one real secret to writing an incredible marketing follow-up email, it’s to always craft messages your audience will look forward to. Never send one out unless you know you’re offering them something they want—not just something you want them to do. That way, your recipients will actually be excited to open your email, read it through, and follow your CTA’s instructions. After that, you won’t need to send nearly as many follow-up messages, but those you do send out will have much higher rates of success.

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